Le Due Torri – A Guide to Bologna’s Two Towers
On exploring Emiligna Romagna’s capital city, Bologna, in Northern Italy, you’ll be able to see many a historic tower nestled between the vibrant terracotta buildings around. And two of the most famous towers of Bologna, which can be found in close proximity to Piazza Magiorre, are ‘Le Due Torri’ or the ‘Two Towers’ as they’re known in English. Are they worth a visit? Certainly! Read more about them in our travel guide to Le Due Torri below.
Head to these sections of our Le Due Torri Guide:
The Towers of Bologna
In the Middle Ages, it is believed that the medieval city, Bologna, had up to 180 Towers. However, not all of them survived throughout the years. Many were demolished. Still some of them, such as Le Due Torri remain standing.
For many residents and tourists alike, the towers found in the capital of Emiglia Romagna are representative of the city. In essence, they symbolize the city’s unique history throughout the ages and part of Bolognese culture. Moreover, they are also symbols of wealth, prestige and protection throughout Bologna.
Today there are only a few towers of Bologna which still remain erect. Among them are Le Due Torri, which are perhaps the most known, and
The Two Towers, Bologna – Symbols of Grandeur in Bologna
Le Due Torri or The Two Towers are certainly worth a visit. The towers ,which date back to the 12th century, are located in Piazza di Portanier Revegene in the central part of the city and as the name of the site. implies are composed of two towers named the Asinelli and Garisenda tower. Just like the famous tower of Pisa, the two towers also lean to one side. Below us can find out a bit about each one.
The Asinelli Tower – The Most Well- Known of Le Due Torri
While the Tower of Pisa is probably the most famous of Italy’s leaning towers which is frequented by millions of avid travelers yearly, it is, in fact, the Asinelli Tower that holds the record as the highest leaning tower in the world. The Bolognese tower is adjacent to its lesser-known sister, the Garisenda Tower. But towers above it, by a total of 37.2 meters in height.
A few Facts about the Asinelli Tower:
It’s the highest leaning tower in the world.
There are 498 steps to climb to the top
You can get the best panoramic view of Bologna from its rooftop.
The View from the Asinelli Tower
Like most towers in the medieval city in Emilia Romagna, the Asinelli plays host to breathtaking panoramic views of the medieval city of Bologna. Yet, the difference between this Tower and the rest of them is that it’s open to the public and it’s far higher than the rest. So you’ll definitely get the best view from here.
The Climb to the Top of Bologna’s Asinelli Tower
If you plan on climbing the tower all the way to the top to take in the view, be prepared for a long climb up. There’s a total of 498 stairs to get to the top. So, it might be better to climb the steep wooden stairs after you’ve had a typical dish of Tagliatelle al Ragu from Mercato di Mezzo, which is situated just a mere 10 minutes away from the Two Towers of Bologna, and of course in typical Italian fashion an espresso to follow. Trust me, you’ll need the energy ( at least I did) Jokes aside, if the thought of climbing that amount of stairs troubles you, don’t worry. There are several platforms where you can actually stop for a rest, should your legs start feeling like jelly.
Once you do get up there though, it will be totally worth your while! Among the cascade of terra-cotta colored buildings at your feet, you’ll be able to see the churches, buildings, cafes, shops, the square, the hills, belfries and the Basilica di Santa Luca that sits atop a green hill.
When atop a tower 😀 just take in the stunning views and capture the moment with your camera. 🌆📷
This photo was taken on my last holiday of 2017 from the Asinelli Tower in Bologna, Italy, after climbing its 498 steps. Simply stunning isn’t it? .
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meggwid@naturalista_julie aww I wish we got this view when we were there! So beautiful!
Once you’ve reached the top, take caution when climbing back down. The wooden stairs are quite narrow so be make sure your footing is right.
The History of the Asinelli Tower
The Asinelli Tower dates back to the early 12th century. Originally, it is believed to have been 60m in height , was extended to 97.28m. This tower was built by an important family in Bologna, by the name of Asellini. It remained theirs for about a century after which it was aquired by the Municipality of Bologna. During this period, it was used for two things – as a prison and as a stronghold. The city of Bologna made some adjustments to it during the 15th century and added wooden structure around the tower which connected it to the Garisenda Tower. During the 16th century, the Tower started to be used for scientific purposes study motion and earth rotation.
After a few years of it being hit by lightening and fires starting, a lighting rod was introduced in the 19th century. It later went on to be used as a sight post during World War II.
Asinelli Tower Ticket Price:
Full Price: 5 Euros
Reduced Price: 3 Euros
The Garisenda Tower – The Asinelli Tower’s Sister
The Garisenda Tower is perhaps the lesser known of the two towers. It stands right by the Asinelli Tower measuring 48 meters in height and noticeably much smaller than the one next to it. This tower that forms some part of Le Due Torri is unfortunately not accessible to visitors unlike the Asellini Tower. So on visiting it, you’ll just have to admire it from below or atop its neighbouring Tower.
The History of the Garisenda Tower
The Garisenda Tower shares a similar history to its neighboring sister. This tower was also built by a rich and noble family in the same period. Originally, the smaller structure of Le Due Torri, that was built by the Garisenda family, measured 60m in height. However, during the 14th century the structure had to be lowered due to the yielding of the ground beneath it which left it slanting and hazardous to citizens of the Bolognese city. In the 15th century, the Garisenda Tower was sold the Arte dei Drappieri. It was later passed onto the Municipality of Bologna in email 19th century.